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Jaar 2010 x
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De maximalistische visie op herstelrecht onder vuur

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 1 2010
Trefwoorden maximalisme, rechtsorde, slachtoffers, rehabilitatie
Auteurs Lode Walgrave
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The authors latest book on Restorative Justice, Self-Interest and Responsible Citizenship has been discussed in this journal in 2009 and the author now responds to the critiques, which came from three jurists and therefore had a predominantly juristic character. Themes discussed are ‘criminal justice and punishment’, ‘restorative justice and the law’, ‘restorative justice, the victim and public interest’, ‘restorative justice and the legal order’ and finally ‘restorative justice and offender rehabilitation’. Walgrave maintains and clarifies the views he developed in the book explaining why it is correct to claim that criminal justice can be identified as fundamentally punitive (although it does not always punish, as one critic has observed) and that it should be possible to elaborate restorative justice into a completely new legal system, offering legal guarantees fitting to what restorative justice is trying to achieve. Legal guarantees as they exist today in criminal procedure cannot be taken as the benchmark for restorative procedures in view of the totally different aims and procedures. Furthermore, it is not true that the victim gets too much power in restorative justice – as one critic stated – because restorative justice is and should be conceived as a system of public law, involving the legal agencies and authorities such as courts in a proper role as guardians of every citizin’s dominion. It is because of the safeguarding of dominion that the victim should have a key-role to play in restorative justice, although not obliged to participate.One critic has mentioned that Walgraves ideas seem to imply that the legal order is only something being imposed upon the citizens ‘top down’, while in many respects one could maintain that the law and the principles of the legal order have been produced ‘bottom-up’ or at least should be the result of democracy. The response is that restorative procedures offer more opportunities for citizens for this democratic participation in producing the norms of the law.Finally some have argued that the rehabilitative interests of the offender should have a more central place in the definition of restorative justice, more or less of the same importance as restoring the harms of the victim. Walgraves experiences with the Belgian model of juvenile protection made him cautious of the risks of doing so, not only in terms of serving the victims needs, but also in terms of the legal protection of the juvenile offender against arbitrary interventions.


Lode Walgrave
Lode Walgrave is emeritus hoogleraar jeugdcriminologie van de Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
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